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Apnoea bradycardia ?

(10 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 23-Jan-14 22:25:45

Dd was born at 30+5, now 33+2. Has been doing really well but in the last few days suddenly having frequent apnoeas and bradycardia - none have required more than a bit of a rub to get her going again but it is worrying as she wasn't having them before and now they are happening regularly. We keep getting told that it is normal for a premature baby which I get but it is weird that they have just started. Does anyone have experience of this and also of when she is likely to grow out them? It's so frightening watching her SATs drop and knowing that she literally forgets to breathe for a while.

Pipsmilkmaid Fri 24-Jan-14 06:00:45

Congratulation on your dd. it's brilliant she's doing so well.

My ds was born 29+6 he experienced apnoea from his first week and was given caffeine to help him remember to breath which sorted out the apnoea he then developed tacicardia. He was on vapertherm to help with his breathing as he didn't respond well to cpap. He was diagnosed with GERD when he was moved up to HDU this affected his heart rate. He started having Brady's as he got bigger and the temperature was reduced first in the incubator then in the cot. But he began self correcting and sorted himself out before the monitors showed the drop/rise we could tell by the changes in his breathing.

He was in the neonatal unit for 5 weeks. His monitor was reduced to the small one after the caffeine was withdrawn then after 2 days if no significant alarms taken away completely although we could tell he was still having drops.
The best thing I was told was watch you baby not the monitor, even term babies have fluctuations in heart rate you just don't get to see it as their not wired up.

I know it's really scary with all the beeps and alarms especially when she's forgetting to breath but she's still learning everything it takes time but she'll get there.

AryaOfHouseSnark Fri 24-Jan-14 09:07:17

My dts were also 30 weekers, one of them had a lot of brandies. They tend to ease off around 34 weeks and actually seemed to happen over night for us.
The SCBU staff told us that even term babies have apnoea, it's just not as severe and they can sort themselves out, and like Pips said they are not on a monitor so we don't notice.
I agree with watch your baby not the monitor, although it's easier
Said then done, infact I found it scarier when I walked in and found them with no monitors than when they were covered in them.
It is so overwhelming, such an emotional roller coaster.
Good Luck.

MultipleMama Sat 25-Jan-14 00:45:27

She should grow of them it is normal for a baby that young forget how to breathe because their body isn't full developed yet. They just need a little coaxing.

Ds' brady were something serious, he had PDA which surgery fixed but an underlying problem - still unknown kept dropping his heartrate. At his lowest it was 21bpm - terrifying. He eventually need a pacemaker.

Your dd is a strong little girl, she'll most likely eventually grow out of it smile

Hangingbellyofbabylon Sat 25-Jan-14 09:53:14

Thanks. The Bradys got worse and they took her off milk feeds and on a drip. She then improved so they think it may be GERD and are trying her on gaviscon. She was more stable overnight and had a few apnoeas so they are keeping her on anti-biotics just in case although she isn't showing any signs of infection at the moment. It's a long old journey isn't it? So many unknowns and I think the nurses are so good at hiding their emotions that you never know how serious a situation could be.

bisjo Sat 25-Jan-14 10:02:59

No idea what GERD is but ds was born at 33 weeks and had apnoea and bradycardia (as well as other problems) for the first few weeks to varying degrees - several times a day an no real pattern to when it would happen. When he was 34 weeks it happened 16 times in 2 hours and the doctors said he was unlikely to survive the night. It is incredibly scary when it happens. I was told that it was due to the nerve endings not being mature and signals not always getting to his brain to remind him to breath. He had repeated chest infections until he was about 4.5 years and was on antibiotics continually but there was never an underlying cause to why he was so poorly as a newborn.

He is now 9 and taller and healthier than most of his peers. When he was in NICU and SCBU I could never imagine him ever being healthy. It's such a rollercoaster experience. He was in hospital for 4 weeks and his apnoea only stopped a few days before he came home.

Good luck with everything and I hope it's not too long before you get to take your dd home.

NowFourSpuds Sat 25-Jan-14 10:32:30

My 23 weekers regularly have apnea & bradys, and they did grow out of them at around 34/35 weeks-ish.

NowFourSpuds Sat 25-Jan-14 10:35:13

Posted too soon! They also had GERD, which improved with medication. Once they grew out of the A&B's the only time they had them was when they had an infection (often they couldn't find what or where but they improved quickly with antibiotics) or had outgrown their reflux medication dose.

Slebmum Sat 25-Jan-14 10:43:14


My twins were born at 31 weeks and had lots of Brady / apnoea episodes, caused by reflux, in turn caused by prematurity. Once they decided to medicate them at about 34 weeks it MADD a massive difference and they gradually eased off . Those alarms used to scare the life out of me, but it was weirdly worse once the alarms come off. They were having around 16 episodes in 24 hours before the medication - ranitidine, domperidone and gaviscon. The gaviscon made feeding a bit of a battle but that's another story.

Is GERD reflux?

Hangingbellyofbabylon Sat 25-Jan-14 23:04:49

Yes, GERD seems to be silent reflux. The gaviscon has helped a bit but try consultant is now looking at other meds too.

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